Nov 2, 2020

Who Do You Need?

Part 1: Curiosity

Written by Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

Over the last couple of months, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about delivering value to your customers and how to go about doing it. All the process in the world is useless if you do not have the right people executing it. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be defining the types of characteristics we’ve found make for the most successful people here at Clientek.

Today, I’d like to start with “curiosity”. When I first left the Army, most of my interview questions in the technology world focused on what languages I knew. Did I know Cobol, had I worked in Fortran, what kind of ADA skills did I have (Yes, I’m that old. The main programming language I learned in college was Pascal!). Very rarely did they ask me how I solved problems, how I picked up new skills, or how I would learn about the needs of a project.

In our early days, we followed this trend and focused on technical skills, because frankly that’s what our customers were asking for. We would get requests for 2 Java developers who had worked on Oracle DBs. But as our delivery model matured, we realized that we needed people who could redirect those skills at the drop of a hat.

This change of mindset is exemplified in our lack of focus on technical skills in our search for new employees. In fact, if someone introduces or refers to themselves as a Microsoft or Java person, our interviews tend to be over. What we have found is that we need people who are curious and eager to learn.

Technology changes so fast today that we need leaders who can learn new things quickly and understand when they need to lean on others for support.

This same curiosity is what drives people to be very good at understanding the business problem that the technology will be solving. This is far more complex and critical than any technology that will be used on the project. Trying to learn a business process and understand the pain points that we’re trying to solve, requires someone with a great ability to listen and learn.

In summary, we look for folks who are curious; curious about the customers they are serving, the pain points they are experiencing, and the technology that might lend a solution. Stop looking for employees with skills that won’t be relevant in 2 years. Look for people with skills that will be needed for the life of your business; those who are eager to learn, explore, and solve problems as they evolve!

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